August 07, 2019Stinkin' Real Life

Children’s books are just plain ole’ FUN! My favorite ones to read and illustrate are the ones that make you laugh out loud! Even better is if the story is written in rhyme ... a skill that not every writer possesses. These are the most fun to read aloud! Of course the hands-down master at that is Dr. Seuss. My favorite is The Sneetches: all about the Star-Bellied Sneetches, who had bellies with stars, and the Plain-Belly Sneetches who had none upon thars! Pure genius! The very best stories make you laugh and think all at the same time. A terrific book can be a great escape. Sometimes we need an escape ...

But not all children’s books are just for fun. There are times when we need to discuss with children the serious sides of life. Reality. The way things are. They need to know.

Because life on Planet Earth is not always fun.

There are days, weeks, seasons, when life just simply sucks. There’s no kind, gentle way to say it. Because when the storms roll through our lives, it’s not kind. And it’s not gentle. And it will feel like what “rolled” through was a Mack truck! Fully loaded!

As adults, we know this. And hopefully, as adults, we’ve learned somewhat how to cope with life’s storms. Who to lean on. Where to get the resources we need. Where to find safe harbor to ride the storms out.

But what if you were only eight years old?

Last month, a new book was released: My Big Brother Is In Heaven Now by J. L. Sampson and J. Omar Coleman. Eight year old Omar tells us the story about his beloved big brother, Jay, passing away and out of his life forever.

Ms. Sampson is a grief mentor, trained to walk with families through the tragedy of death. She wrote the book to be a tool in the hands of parents and adult family members who are trying to help their children understand and cope with death. In the book, Omar talks about what happened, how his life changed, what he lost, what he felt. Very well written, you can “hear” an actual eight year old’s voice telling the story. That’s very important, because a child reader will be drawn into the narrative and hopefully into being open to ask questions and sharing their own thoughts.

If you are a parent, or have children in your life, and need a way to broach this very sensitive subject with them, this book will be a terrific starting point. You will find a sampling of the book in The Books section, and an article about Ms. Sampson with her contact info in Helpful Info.

Even if your child hasn’t yet experienced loss through a death in their life, any time is a good time to open a dialogue about experiences life will eventually toss their way. It will happen. Equip them to be prepared.

Because life on Planet Earth is not always fun.

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  • Dixie says:
    2019-08-10, 06:15:46
    You did great work on this book and the writer wanted to teach children it's okay to grieve.
    Thanks, Dixie! Ms. Sampson did a wonderful job! I know parents will get great guidance from this book while helping their children cope with tragedy. - Sherry A Mitcham
  • Brittany N. says:
    2019-08-07, 20:09:18
    Well said, good read:)
  • Bryan Jordan says:
    2019-08-07, 16:33:15
    My talented cousin. I love the illustrations. ❤
    Thank you, Bryan!- Sherry A Mitcham
  • BILL MITCHAM says:
    2019-08-07, 15:12:27